Year 12 - Legal Studies Unit 3-4


In Unit 3: Law-making, students develop an understanding of the institutions that determine our laws, and their law-making powers and processes. They undertake an informed evaluation of the effectiveness of law-making bodies and examine the need for the law to keep up to date with changes in society.

Students develop an appreciation of the complex nature of law-making by investigating the key features and operation of parliament, and influences on law-making, with a focus on the role of the individual.
Central to the investigation of law-making is the role played by the Commonwealth Constitution. Students develop an understanding of the importance of the Constitution in their lives and on society as a whole, and undertake a comparative analysis with another country. They learn of the importance of the role played by the High Court of Australia in interpreting and enforcing the Constitution, and ensuring that parliaments do not act outside their areas of power nor infringe protected rights.
Students investigate the nature and importance of courts as law-makers and undertake an evaluation of their effectiveness as law-making bodies. They also investigate the relationships that exist between parliaments and courts.
Throughout this unit, students examine relevant cases to support their learning and apply legal principles to these cases.

Unit 4: Resolution and justice, introduces the students to the concept that the legal system provides mechanisms by which legal disputes of both a criminal and a civil nature can be resolved in a fair and just manner. Dispute resolution bodies such as courts and tribunals employ a range of means and processes that enables the resolution of legal disputes.

Students examine the institutions that adjudicate criminal cases and civil disputes. They also investigate methods of dispute resolution that can be used as an alternative to civil litigation. Students investigate the processes and procedures followed in courtrooms and develop an understanding of the adversary system of trial and the jury system, as well as pre-trial and post-trial procedures that operate in the Victorian legal system. Using the elements of an effective legal system, students consider the extent to which court processes and procedures contribute to the effective operation of the legal system. They also consider reforms or changes that could further improve its effective operation.
Throughout this unit, students examine current or recent cases to support their learning, and apply legal principles to these illustrative cases.

Students will investigate issues of personal interest, visit institutions such as the law courts and engage with experts from the broader community.



Textbook as designated on the annual College booklist.